Monday, July 31, 2006

An embarrassment of spindles... And, a mystery

Innocently enough I was preparing for the Spinning Silk Fibers workshop I'm taking at Peters Valley in two weeks. Looking through my spindles -- just the ones in NYC, mind you, I realized I had quite a few.... To see just how few, you can go to my Flickr page:

What does a librarian do in her spare time? Of course, catalogue her spindles. My Flickr Page has the photos of those spindles I've managed to photograph thus far. You see, I'm a victim of the double stash syndrom: some of the spindles are in NJ. The collection is even more egregious. Hanging my head in greedy shame....

There's no photo because Blogstop refused (about half a dozen times) to upload the image of my "mystery spindle" this morning. It is on Flickr Page where it's labeled "Who 474 - Mystery Spindle".

Should you know who made this spindle, would you be so kind as to let me know? You can comment right on Flickr. I bought it from Janet Lynn at The Wheel Thing in Connecticut. The label which came with it states: "bleached bubinga [whorl], cherr[sic] shaft; 15g; $36." It spins like crazy but the hook is the most fragile I've every encountered.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Healing Shawl for Our Good Friend

Finished on July 4, 2006.

Finished dimensions (washed, not blocked) 84" x 27". Made with 1200 yds of Tess Designer Yarn's Brushed Mohair (78% Mohair, 13% Wool, 9% Nylon) 450 yds/8oz. I found c. 18 oz of this gorgeous yarn in String's (a most favority LYS) oddball bucket in various hanks and wound up balls. I recognized it immediately and happily grabbed it at a fraction of the original price.

My pattern is inspired by the simple yarn over details in "The Rebozo" in Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls: 25 Knitting Patters; Interweave, 2000. I began it in early March but life has interfered with my knitting time.

Because the yarn has subtle but very definite variagations from periwinkle to black, there was no need to alternate or add colors. Knit lengthwise, I cast on 275 sts on 10.5 bamboo circulars. Each short edge has a 4-stitch garter stitch border; in other words, I didn't take the yo's in the lace row to the very edge. Except for the lace row, everything is garter stitch. I began with 4 garter ridges (including cast on stitches) then knit the first lace row. The lace pattern is *k2tog, yo* (except for the aforementioned 4 stitches at each edge. The lace row is repeated 16 times in between 4 garter ridges, not including the garter ridge in the lace stitches. I ended with 4 garter ridges, including cast off stitches.

I'm happy to report that our friend. loves it. Even though her surgery was in March and her treatment finished a couple of months ago, she said this was a very good time to receive the love and comfort the shawl represented from The D.G.F. (a.k.a. D.B.) and me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My daughter is joining my blog

Caroline is a fine needlewoman, keeping up a tradition of many generations. Here are some booties she recently completed.

Of course, the compulsion to make things didn't affect everyone, the most notable exception being my mother after whom Caroline is named. But, my father did excellent needlepoint and made all sorts of things for our 33' boat on his very old Singer. To be fair, my mother did do her share during World War II, knitting my father crimson socks and a scarf, which items were noted in Time Magazine in its accounts of D-Day! The little clipping my father had about a Harvard man being seen coming ashore with crimson socks, scarf and English hunting horn is now lost. I remember seeing it all my childhood. Can't find it at all now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mitred Squares Are Not My Friends

These are two mitred square blocks I finished this weekend. I can't remember which directions I used for the larger square on the right; for the smaller square on the left side I followed the directions in "Basic Mitred Square" by Linda

Both squares knit with a sale yarn I found last year: 100% cotton "Bahamas" by Jakobdals 50g/100m.

We're calling the square below The Intelligence Test, or, Which One Is Not Like the Other?
This was the more successful of the two but with the same problems I ran into while working on the larger. As you can see, I'm not clear about where to start a square to make it fit. Actually, I was trying to achieve a large square with all the khaki bands creating squares of their own. No clue. Still.

The small square benefitted from having been knit on smaller needles as directed by Linda. I used very old #2 metal needles (at least 33 years old). Metal needles worked much better with this yarn and pattern.
1. upper right edge is all wavy as result of the chained cast on
2. bottom right edge is a complete mess as I cut the yarn instead of running it up
3. bottom left edge is stretchy. It the side of the square where colors aren't begun and ended. As usual the first stitch is slipped.
4. Isn't that little point on the left bottom corner quaint? I followed the directions and knitted an additional stitch before pulling the yarn through to end. I solved it later by pulling the yarn through two loops to make the pointed end stitch. Much tidier.

And, now on to the larger square which I'd started some months ago on wooden needles. The panel on the right was knit on #4 wooden needles, the one on the left with #4 faithful Susan Bates needles.

D.B. (Dearly Beloved) has kindly offered to give the little sampler orphans a home -- and hope for life -- as washcloths.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Working on UFO's

"'Girly Girl' Socks" adapted from Robin Fouquette's pattern in Interweave Press' Socks.

To fit my foot I added one repeat of the lace pattern. They're my own very first socks -- I've made the D.B. at least 20 pairs. I used Brown Sheep's Wildfoote in Crystal Pink on #1 5" dpn's. I just love these socks. Too bad they're too hot to wear.